When a small business operating in Europe needs to conduct an HR audit, they can turn to the experts at Europe HR Solutions. We have a dedicated team of multilingual Human Resources professionals who are intimately familiar with the specific laws and regulations that govern each European country and the EU as a whole.
Outsourcing your HR audit is one of the best decisions you can make when expanding into Europe or planning the next stage of your business. Audits aren’t just for big companies; they are also for small businesses who are poised for growth.
HR audit services in Europe include:
- Identifying a baseline of your current operations
- Finding gaps in your current HR strategies
- Pinpoint areas in which you are noncompliant with local, national, or regional laws
- Target redundancies and inefficiencies in your workflow
An audit doesn’t solve all of your HR problems, but it does help you to identify what is going well and what needs to be corrected – before it becomes an expensive and time-consuming problem!
Europe HR Solutions provides comprehensive HR audit services in Europe for small businesses
We love working with small businesses.
When we work with a small business in Europe, we get to make a meaningful impact on the company during a critical growth phase. As a small operation ourselves, we understand the unique HR challenges that small businesses face – especially if they are operating internationally!
Our hands-on, personal approach gives us the opportunity to get to know each of our clients’ cultures and needs. We offer HR audits that provide you with strategic guidance on talent recruitment, retention, and development, as well as full compliance with European laws.
Our audits are performed by our team of highly trained and experienced HR professionals. We work mostly with US and UK companies that are expanding into Europe. We know that there is a lot of potential for costly, time-consuming mistakes when you are operating in Europe, and a strong HR audit from European HR Solutions will help you save time and money.
Supporting small business clients in creating a positive employee experience is one of the best things about our work! We want to help you build a satisfied and productive workforce.
What is the HR audit process like?
The professionals in the field of human resources have developed a thorough and detailed process for conducting a comprehensive HR audit.
The process can be divided into three stages: planning the audit, conducting the audit, and analyzing the audit.
This next section of the article provides a simple overview of each of these steps. Note that each of these stages includes multiple steps.
Stage 1: Plan the audit
Every strong HR audit starts with a strong planning stage.
During the planning stage, you determine what your audit needs to cover, who is going to conduct it, and what data you need to prepare in order for the audit to be completed.
How to choose your audit team
Technically, HR audits can be done internally. There are PDF checklists online that you can download and work through. Why don’t we recommend this strategy? Because we have seen what happens when people try to do this work on their own!
European HR is complicated, requiring meticulous attention to detail and extensive legal knowledge. When someone with insufficient experience attempts to spearhead an HR audit in Europe, the results can be costly, messy, and expensive.
That doesn’t mean that your team won’t be involved in the process, though! Even when you outsource your HR audit to European HR Solutions, you can involve as many of your team members as you want!
We recommend that you involve a representative from each of the following areas:
- HR department (If we are handling all of your HR, your HR rep will be involved in the audit)
- In-house legal team
- Subject matter experts in your industry
- Mergers & Acquisitions team (if applicable)
- Executive team member with extensive institutional knowledge of the company
Often, though, small businesses don’t have all of these roles filled! Or, they are filled by the same person or small group of people.
We can take on as much of the audit process as you need; if necessary, we can tackle the entire audit from planning to analysis without putting additional workload on the shoulders of a small number of your hard-working employees.
How to determine the scope of your audit
Small businesses can conduct a number of different kinds of audits. In fact, it may be easier to think of these as “sub-audits,” which make up a more complete audit.
Here are some of the sub-audits you can select, depending on your company’s specific needs:
- Corporate structure
- General compliance
- Payroll compliance
- Supplier compliance
- Immigration compliance
- Registration form compliance
- Employment law compliance
- Wages & salaries
- Corporate restructuring prep
- Mergers & acquisitions prep
- Health & safety policies
- Worker data privacy
- Corporate social responsibility (ethics audit)
- Labor practices
- Industry-specific audits
The checklist stage
We love a good checklist.
During the audit planning process, it’s a great idea to generate excellent checklists to keep you on track. Our internal process moves us through many steps in your audit; we can also provide you with checklists to help you see how the big picture is broken down into manageable steps.
We recommend creating a master checklist that can be divided into multiple sub-level checklists. When you have specific tasks to complete, you can distribute the checklists to relevant individuals in your company.
Your checklists will likely include:
- Corporate taxes
- Payroll & deductions
- Mandatory vacation time & leave entitlement (PTO)
- Local employment laws
- Benefits and compensation
- Employee incentive plans
- Tuition benefits
- Collective bargaining agreements
- Recruitment laws
- Interviewing and onboarding
- Overtime rules
- Anti-discrimination and harassment policies
- Diversity rules
- Laws related to use of local languages
- Internal employment complaints
- Procedures for internal investigations
- Whistleblower policies
- Labor dispute management
- Severance policies
- Headquarters locations
- Reduction-in-force (RIF) policies
- European Works Council agreements
- Pension and retirement
- Cost of living and inflation-adjusted raises
- Succession planning
- Employee handbooks
- Posted information in the workplace
- Global crisis & pandemic plans
- Security protocols
- Ethics guidelines
- Contractor guidance
- Data privacy laws
- Policy for notifying employees of a data breach
- Immigration policies
- Expatriate compliance
- Duty of care protections for business travel
- Overseas supply chain labor monitory
Please note: this is not a comprehensive list! It does, however, give you a great starting point of many of the things you need to consider as you go through the auditing process.
At Europe HR Solutions, we also provide guidance on country-specific laws of everywhere you operate.
Stage 2: Conduct the audit
If you thought Stage 1 was intense, brace yourself for Stage 2.
It’s time to work through all of your created checklists and start evaluating your operations from top to bottom.
As a small business with fewer employees, some of the checklists may be faster to complete, but most will still take quite a bit of time and energy to work through. Comparing your current policies to national and international laws doesn’t get easier just because you have a smaller business.
Your auditor from Europe HR Solutions will be able to move through this much faster than if you try to do it on your own. We will simply need to get information and data from you in a timely manner so that we can identify each of your current policies and how they compare to both legal requirements and European best practices for employment.
Attempting to conduct the audit on your own comes with three major risks:
- You may miss something small but important, which can jeopardize your operations in the EU.
- Non-compliance fines are expensive! For example, take a look at data protection non-compliance, which led to Meta being fined €405 million for data privacy violations in Ireland. Other companies, including those much smaller than Meta, saw fines in the €10-20 million range. Yikes!
- A poor audit means poor data. Poor data means uninformed decision making. And all of this adds up to being unable to keep up with your European competitors.
Stage 3: Analyze the audit
Now it’s time to turn the information you collected into actionable steps.
All of the hard work that has gone into the audit will be useless if you don’t interpret the results and apply them to your operations!
As an overview, here is what your auditor has already done, with your help, by the time you get to this part of the process:
- Assembled a great team of in-house and outsourced professionals
- Determined which areas of your company need to be evaluated for compliance and best practices
- Created detailed checklists with all of the relevant laws and regulations for each area of your business
- Gathered extensive information about your company and found any gaps and oversights
Now it’s time to use all of that data to create a strategy to strengthen your company through great HR policies and practices.
To analyze your audit, we will guide you through questions like these:
- What are you doing well, and how can you make sure that you continue to do a great job in these areas?
- What policies are you missing?
- Which policies of yours need to be revised in order to be compliant with European and country-specific regulations?
- What is your time frame for improving your HR performance?
- Who in your small business is responsible for each change in policy?
Europe HR Solutions offers detailed & actionable HR audits for small businesses
At Europe HR Solutions, our multilingual and experienced team performs through audits for small businesses in Europe. Navigating the new landscape of labor laws in Europe isn’t easy, especially for small businesses, but you do not need to try to do this on your own!
When you trust our thoughtful, dedicated team of human resources professionals to audit your company, you get:
- Dedicated support every step of the way
- A representative who knows European laws inside and out
- Multilingual expertise to ensure smooth communication between everyone inside and outside of the organization
- Exceptional guidance
Our HR auditors give small businesses the opportunity to focus on growth, instead of being overwhelmed by compliance issues in Europe!
Contact us for a free consultation!
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